Red Bull and Ferrari bosses hold talks over Lewis Hamilton’s engine doubts

George Russell joins Lewis Hamilton at Mercedes

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Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto and Red Bull boss Christian Horner have held talks regarding Lewis Hamilton’s engine. A recent report has suggested Mercedes have found a way to use their intercooler to cool compressed air to 10 degrees below air temperature to produce more horsepower. 

The Ferrari chief told the Italian edition of he has discussed the issue with Horner, but they have yet to take the matter to the FIA.

“No, we haven’t,” Binotto stated. “Even though, like all teams and all constructors, we always try to understand what our opponents are doing – we analyse the images and look at the GPS data.

“We had some doubts and discussed it with Red Bull. I personally talked to Horner about it, but we didn’t submit any questions for clarification to the FIA.”

The 51-year-old had to deal with an issue in 2019 regarding their engine, which was subject to investigation before they came to a confidential settlement with the FIA.

The Swiss-born Italian believes this issue with Mercedes has not garnered the same attention.

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“Without getting to the subject of the Mercedes engine, I would prefer to touch on other topics that are well known – the flexible wings, rather than the management of tyre pressures, which required technical directives,” Binotto added.

“The FIA measures came about because there were those who misinterpreted the principles of the regulations. And this is no different to what had happened in 2019.”

He continued: “Why are there differences in attitude? Maybe then we were exposed in the media and we suffered an attack from our competitors, but that is now water under the bridge.

“I think to get to the tones used in 2019 is still wrong. However, I think it is important to stress that what happened then is nothing different from what is happening now and has always happened in Formula 1.”

Last week Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff said he has no problem with rival teams questioning the performance of his team’s car.

The Austrian told “I heard the first time about it a couple of days ago.

“I would wish we have some kind of special solution. It’s the modus operandi in Formula 1, ‘business as usual’.

“Queries are being taken to the FIA, questions are being asked, and that’s completely normal.”

Both Mercedes and Red Bull, who are challenging for both the F1 Drivers and Constructors titles, have had several squabbles this year over issues such as flexi-wings, tyres and accidental damage.

Horner’s questioning of Mercedes’ is just another chapter in what is a very intense rivalry.

“I think that is the nature with all technical clarifications, they go continually between all of the teams, and those clarifications are usually to ascertain if something is, in the eyes of the governing body, acceptable as a solution,” the 47-year-old said.

“We’ve had numerous of those this year with our car and I think it’s something that’s not unique to Red Bull, and this topic certainly isn’t unique to Red Bull.

“Obviously, that dialogue between the engineers within their forums as well, within the technical working groups, is an ongoing process, so I’m sure it doesn’t come as any great surprise.”

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